In the second write-up of our meeting with Breakout’s game creators, Johnny, Gavin and Ken, we delved deeper into the conceptual design behind the games in Breakout:
Escman: What about the books we find the rooms? Why did you decide to include this in your games. We really like the artwork, as they fit in really well with the aesthetics of the room.. It’s a really nice touch…
Johnny: Thanks! It’s actually all drawn by Ken. (Escman: wow!) You can see them in the Marionette and the Chamber of Hocus, and also the Greatest Murder.
Ken: It’s actually very useful..
Johnny: The books or papers actually have clues to the puzzles.
The Magician’s touch
Escman: Can you tell us what are the unique features of each room in Breakout?
Johnny: The Chamber of Hocus is the first room we came up with. Because I’m a professional magician myself and I’ve performed in China and United States. Hence, I wanted to try to create a room with some of my specialties. I know how to amaze people, and like you say, to wow. That’s what we try to do when we’re the magician. You can expect some magic in the room.
For beginners, Project Fallout.
Escman: Are your games hard? Do a lot of people complain about it?
Johnny: Previously there are quite a number people complaining about the rooms being too hard for them. So we’re thinking to come out with a room which is a little easier so that even beginners could enjoy the game. When a customer comes, I will ask them whether it’s their first time playing real escape games? If it is, I will recommend them to the Fallout room first. Fallout room will have a lot of interesting stuff.
Going about Infinity
Johnny: We want to create something with a psychological effect of being lost in an infinity loop. This is also a very hard room to design. We have an assistant, who is actually a psychologist and hence we always ask her a lot of questions on how to emulate the psychological effects.
Gavin: So we came up with something that challenges your subconscious mind. It needs teamwork to complete this room or else you’ll be stuck forever. That’s the concept for Infinity.
The truth behind the Marionette
Gavin: The concept for this room is: normally when you watch a show, you are the audience, but in the Marionette room, instead of the audience; you are the one performing on stage. (That explains the puppets on the cinema chairs watching the players on stage.)
Johnny: Let’s share our original idea for the Marionette.
Ken: We were going to give you the entrance ticket as if you are buying a ticket to watch a puppet show when you signed up to play the room.
Johnny: We had actually designed the ticket previously. When you go inside, there’ll be someone like a show master with a mask who will punch your ticket and usher you as if you are getting ready to watch the show. But at that very moment, you will suddenly find that show master has turned into a puppet and you find yourself on a stage in front of an audience of puppets.
Ken: The idea is that the puppet is already hidden inside the room initially, but you wouldn’t be able see it when you first enter, and would only visible after you’re in the room, and the attire is the same and including the mask……
Johnny: But this idea is giving us a lot of difficulty. What if I hire a staff, who is of different size with the puppet? We have to change our puppet every day…
Ken: And staff training… A lot of difficulties…
Johnny: Yea, so the idea was rejected already….
Unraveling the Greatest Murder of Westwood
Johnny: This room is very hard. The story is very complex. Although it’s complex in a way, everything is explainable and logical. The puzzles are all happening concurrently, in parallel. It’s not liked the magician or marionette, where you go step by step.
Gavin: The trick to play the great murder is to put yourself as a detective and you are in desperation and thinking what should you do next.
Now we know how a great idea being birthed and rejected and finally remolded into a real escape game that we all play and enjoy now! It shows how difficult it is to transform something conceptually to a real game due to various limitations in the physical realm. Our last installment of this writeup will explore what is the future outlook of their games! Stay tuned!
We really look forward to their new outlet in NuSentral!
Check out our reviews of the games we played in Breakout Avenue K~ They are awesome~
Conversations with the Breakout Game Creators Series